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Page 17


Poems about hope and humanity are listed on the index of poems

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poetry of humanity

In that epiphanous
Moment when
Mind and heart
The red wheelbarrow
With the blood
In your bones,
You awaken
Like an amnesiac
And discover that
The lines
From your pen
Curve outward
In the spirit of
The white hen.

poems of struggle
One must have a mind of winter
—Wallace Stevens

In order for
unsplintered moon
on unthought snow
to be
more than a world
these markings
must be erased

poems of humanity
The Wheel spins vastly
And every wheel within
Turning on finer wheels--
No bearings to burn out
No packing with grease,
The centre spins itself--

The rain-powered rivers
And water-pumped skies
The forests sinking down
The magma bubbling up--
What whirling of worlds
That drives our dreams!

On harnessed gyrations
Of an infrangible force
Our oil swirling lust
Outcircling its source:
Our spinning machines
Carving out wheels
Of finest carbon steel
To make more wheels--

The ripening of grapes
The goldening of wheat
The great coming round
That submits to our will,
Its axis tied to our feet--
Lulled by the humming
We tilt with the earth
Barely feeling the shift

Of the Wheel of wheels--

Heaving us up toward the stars,
Then flinging us over the brink.

poems of death
The stiff-wired November air
scrubbed raw our faces,
exposed to truths
best obliquely encountered
now coagulating near
the black unpretentious box
perched above a geometric
hole in the ground--
yet even in these moments
deep and unadorned,
so threadbare what we know.

The exhausted flank of sloping lawn
with its history stamped
on tablets--some forgotten--
slumped against the seam of fence
along the road
where one world ended--
and another more unreal began.

In trench coats and jackets,
fingers and toes gone numb,
we sheepishly waited
for the final passage,
while the blind sun pressed
its hot poker into our backs--
though even this covert
pleasure seemed dubious.

Two workmen in coveralls
and matching caps
who might have been mending
some water pipe for the city
so our lives could carry on,
uncoiled a hose,
started up
a small gas-powered pump
that rattled and whined
while we lamely shifted
from foot to foot.

In an endless loop of time
they fiddled and fumbled
but still nothing came up--
the one on his knees
finally checked his watch
then shut off the engine,
neutrally conceded
there were no guarantees--
water could leak
into the compartment--

As the lunch hour loomed,
assent reluctantly given,
choice much too absolute:
the precious cargo now
carefully lowered down.

The dirt filled back in
a bit too suddenly
perhaps, perhaps not--
the ground re-sodded
flowers arranged on top
mourners departing--

The grave now looked
like any other,
the dirt would have absorbed
the water quickly,
the dead surely have nothing
to lose,
where darkness has no walls--
yet, still I wondered
what impression
the incidental gesture
of defeat,
its unintended weight
upon the widow's grief,
left on
the emancipated soul.


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